by: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn / Photos by: Sabrina Canup
We caught up with Arlene, John, and Justin from HR_Lexy at the Eternal Visions Showcase. This awesome showcase was organized by Arlene and featured all female-fronted bands, as well as showcasing art by local female artists. This was a truly inspiring event, it was so great to see such female empowerment in our community. Oh yeah, and HR_Lexy said the cake was SO GOOD!!
Arlene organized this event, Eternal Visions Showcase. Where did this idea come from and how did all of this come about?
AS: It honestly came from a lack of it existing. I noticed that in Nashville, or pretty much anywhere, you can’t really walk into a show and see a full female-fronted line-up. I wanted that to happen, so I just started putting that together. These events have definitely evolved over time and have gotten better. I haven’t booked before, so this has been an awesome learning experience.
NJH: The artists who displayed their work tonight were also female?
AS: Yes, the artists were also all female.
You recently released your second EP, Slaves to the Light. What’s the main theme for this album?
AS: The main theme, “Slaves to the Light,” means that even though there are times of darkness that you may experience and you don’t feel like you are living in the highest state, I believe that you are a creature of the light. You’ll find your way back to the light, over and over again. The album itself is a process of that. Some of the songs are crying out for the light and talking about how badly I need it, and other songs are experiencing the revelation of living in fullness and accepting that there is a greater power in control.
Your sound can be described as synth-electronic pop, blended with lyrics exploring spiritual awareness and dark and light. What is your typical songwriting process like?
JF: I usually write the music at home and then Arlene will put some vocals on it. Sometimes we will all write in a room together. Justin joined us recently, so the process has changed up a little bit. Now we tend to write more together in the same room. Sometimes Arlene will e-mail me and say “hey, check out this rhythm/vocal I made” and I’ll expand on it. It changes, but we’re open on getting the songs however it happens.
Your live shows are theatrical and truly express the themes that your band represents. With the use of lighting, some stage props, outfits, and overall theatrics; how do you go about planning your performances? What’s your favorite part of these performances?
JV: It keeps growing, it’s like a seed we planted. We see where it’s going and it’s like “what if we did this? What if we did that? What if we wore that?”
JF: In the beginning it was just Arlene and I, and we added more and more, and then visuals.
AS: I always wanted dancers, but we weren’t at a place to do it yet. There was always a vision, nothing was by accident. I have a theatre background, so I definitely want to incorporate that. As we’ve grown as a band, we’ve been able to bring in more aspects, like the dancers, props, harmonies.
SC: It definitely sets you guys apart. The dancers were really cool, especially with the masks and how you can get a feel for the song, plus the red satin.
AS: Yes, I’m all about concepts and symbology. I like something that is simple, but it represents a concept.
JF: Arlene choreographs all of the dances, so that’s all planned ahead of time.
NJH: So being a theatre major, is this something that you knew that you wanted to do while you were in college? Combining music and theatre?
AS: When I was in theatre, I was all into theatre. Then I got a boyfriend, who taught me how to play guitar, and then I left theatre (laughs). I thought, this is much cooler! I can perform and see people responding immediately and I can create something original vs just reciting lines or getting into someone else's words. I could completely make it mine, something new and fresh. This was so much more appealing to me. It wasn’t until I was around 18 that I discovered all of this.
(Then we all bonded over how we all did theatre and how much we love it!)
New music video for “Garden Heart” is coming soon. Anything you can tell us about that yet?
AS: It will be released March 24th. The concept of it was the unveiling. It’s a lot of symbols represented in that of the unveiling, like a purity or wholeness; a newness.
JV: The dancers are in it, feeding the garden of your heart!
AS: The whole thing is shot in my bed. It’s not sexual though. It’s all in the canopy, not a whole lot of people would know that if I didn’t say that!
JF: I didn’t even know that. I learn a lot in these interviews!
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
JF: We have shows booked through the rest of July as of right now. We have 3-4 songs, so we will record another EP. Working on some touring outside of Nashville, some surrounding cities. The whole thing will expand by the end of this year. Things will happen that we don’t even know will happen yet.
AS: I can’t wait for the new EP!
JV: We’ve got quite a few really good ones coming for you! We only played one of our new ones tonight, and we definitely have other ones that are fresh!